Vishwambhar Puri obtained DSc (1940) from Agra University. He was Professor Emeritus (1975- ), Honorary Director, Institute of Advanced Studies (1974-75), Senior Professor and Head, Botany Department (1969-72), all at Meerut University; and also Principal, Meerut College, Meerut (1965-69).
Academic and Research Achievements: Working in the areas: floral morphology, taxonomy, and evolution, Puri studied floral anatomy of Rhoeadales and Parietales; offered a new interpretation of crucifer gynoecium and clarified placentation in Cucurbitaceae and other families. He emphasized the role of floral anatomy for solving taxonomic and phylogenetic problems. It was his contention that vasculature of floral organs exhibited great deal of variations, particularly with respect to the reduction and amplification in the number of bundles and also in their cohesion and adhesion. He also emphasized that the processes as parallelism, convergence, interbreeding and hybridization further complicated the issue of phylogeny. He offered a new interpretation of Marsilea sporocarp; and discussed the morphology of inferior ovary. His studies on evolution suggested that monocots and dicots are more independent than is usually believed. He published two exhaustive reviews in Botanical Reviews, and also authored the book History of Botany (Floral Anatomy) for India, Burma and Ceylon at the invitation of Indian Botanical Society.
Other Contributions: Puri was Member of the INSA Council (1977-79); and also Editor of the Journal of the Indian Botanical Society (1969-79).
Awards and Honours: Professor Puri won the Birbal Sahni Medal (1964); KN Bahl Medal (1988); Silver Jubilee Lecture Award by Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (1977); and Professor Panchanan Maheshwari Memorial Lecture Award by INSA (1990). He was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, and Indian Botanical Society; and Honorary Vice-President, XII International Botanical Congress, Leningrad (1975). The Indian Botanical Society has instituted the medal in his honour, awarded annually since 1981.